Maryland took about 15 minutes to remember they were playing a Division III team.
Minnesota got taken to the wire by the worst team in the Missouri Valley Conference.
wisconsin relied on a flop on an inbounds play to hold off an average C-USA club.
Jesus, the Big Ten really is bad this year. That’s not news, mind you, but that’s definitely continued confirmation that this is not an ideal season for the conference. And while I’m not exactly shedding tears if Minnesota loses to Drake—I’m actually pissing myself laughing—that’s still not ideal for the fifth- to eighth-best teams in the conference hoping to get the RPI bump from the conference to make the NCAA Tournament.
Yes, there were a couple bright spots. Illinois blew Longwood...
...away. Sorry. Needed a quick line break. And Northwestern gave us real live SINGLE DIGIT WATCH with a 55-8 first half over Chicago State en route to a shit-stomping. But to top the week off, Michigan did head down to Austin and sucked the life out of yet another game, basically guaranteeing that when Michigan is 20-11 (9-9) at the end of the year with a win over Purdue when Matt Painter forgets how to use Isaac Haas, Eternal Coaching Cockroach John Beilein will find his squad in the Tourney yet again.
That is probably one of the Top 5 best wins for the Big Ten in 2017-18: Michigan State over Notre Dame, Minnesota over the fifth-best Big East team, Purdue over scandal-plagued Louisville, Purdue over Arizona in the toilet bowl of a hotel ballroom on some Caribbean island...I’m out. Michigan at Texas. That’s five. Whatever. Fuck this.
Northwestern Wildcats 96, Chicago State Cougars 31
It was 55-8 at halftime. Poor Chicago State. “Is Chris Collins’ Sportsmanship Problematic?” was an alternate title for this piece.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 68, Drake Bulldogs 67
Yeah, Minnesota’s not ranked in the Top 25 anymore. It was interesting to hear the local sports media basically stop giving a shit about the Golden Gophers basically the second they lost to Miami. Now that they’ve played three-man Alabama, gotten BTFO at Arkansas, and barely beaten the second-best team in Iowa (gotta give it up for the ‘Clones), though, the Gophers have gotten more headlines, if because there’s one thing this town loves more than ignoring Gophers sports, it’s laughing when Gophers athletics are shit.
Maryland Terrapins 76, D-III Catholic Cardinals [yessssss] 59
This game was tied at 27 with 4:39 left (clarity edit: in the first half).
I don’t give a shit if you were down multiple players (Bruno Fernando, Justin Jackson, and some other players I don’t care about), Maryland fans. D-I athletes blow the doors off kids who go to schools that don’t hand out athletic scholarships and aren’t in the Ivy League.
You can argue about Turgeon or whomever, but this is not a good look. Congrats on the 17-point win over D-III Catholic, though, and feel free to remind me of this when Northwestern only beats Lewis by 10 points, because I’ll have likely already put my first through my laptop screen.
rutger Scarlet Knights 75, Fordham Rams 63
The Knights played [insert sub-200 RPI team here] at the RAC. Using their height, led by [insert still-below-average 6’11” F/C here], who had [insert # here] rebounds, rutger dominated the glass. Steve Pikiell has imposed his defensive style on rutger, who still rely on the offensive output of [that one good guard or whatever], who had [insert # here] points in the victory.
You can’t prove I don’t have this template saved.
Michigan Wolverines 59, Texas Longhorns 52
Did Michigan suck the life out of this game? Sure did. But if you’re someone who enjoys seeing bad, bad things happen to grinning twat Duncan Robinson, enjoy:
(Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman also had a double-double with 17 and 10 boards, and the Wolverines held Texas to 40% from the field and 32% from deep. But we’re just here to watch Robinson get posterized.)
Illinois Fighting Illini 92, Longwood Lancers 45
Absent real commentary on this game, I would like to present Thumpasaurus’ commentary in our Slack basketball channel:
ALRIGHT IT'S TIME FOR ILLINOIS VS LONGWOOD
nice little spurt to the hole for longwood
oh shit longwood strokin it deep
well, sometimes 18yo's struggle to find the hole
well we're not letting longwood fire off big shots
longwood finishes off the glass
shit man that was a five-roper right there
damn we gotta stop reaching in on longwood
This has been Thumpasaurus Watches Illinois Pound Longwood.
wisconsin badgers 81, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 80
We learned that not only does wisconsin need to flop to win over half its games, they need to draw up plays centered around flopping to beat Western Kentucky by one at home.
Great players make great plays. Smart players make smart plays.@braddavi34 takes a charge & hits a late free throw for the @BadgerMBB victory!! #Badgers pic.twitter.com/l7rtQCXGCl— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) December 14, 2017
Anyone who comes in here and says “Andy Davidson made a smart play! Wow! And he’s so young!” is a jackass. He ran the play he was supposed to. He was told to do that. He literally did the bare minimum, and the bare minimum was flopping on the floor like he’d been shot.
But you’re right, indignant badger fan! It doesn’t matter that it’s against the spirit of the game, pretty pathetic way to beat a mid-major, or even a borderline call at that! The badgers won the game, and that’s what matters. But there’s nothing special or gritty about this play—it’s just a pretty sad statement of where wisconsin basketball is at in 2017-18.
Northwestern 84, Valparaiso Crusaders 50
Northwestern shot over 50% from deep and beat Valpo so badly, ESPN forgot how to do math:
I don’t know. Valpo was something like #84 in Kenpom before this game started. They’re 106 now. Northwestern was 58 when it started, they’re 44 now. The ‘Cats still are a signature win away from anything approaching an NCAA Tournament resume, but still head to Norman with a chance to fell the streaking Oklahoma Sooners.
We’ll be back later today or first thing tomorrow with your weekend previews and open thread. In the meantime, vote in the poll and let us know who impressed you the most this week?
What’s the blackest eye for the Big Ten this week?
This poll is closed
Minnesota beating Drake by 1
Chris Collins’ problematic sportsmanship
Maryland failing to indulge themselves against Catholic
flopppppp flop flop flop flop flop
Thump’s inability to think of more Longwood puns